Respect Due – Museum of Colour
The Museum of Colour responds to the threat the pandemic poses to its heritage with a unique gallery experience.
The Museum of Colour (MoC)
MoC is a heritage and creativity social enterprise currently incubated at People’s Palace Projects. It is building a digital museum to explore the contribution made by People of Colour to the nation’s culture – specifically in film, television and the arts – from 1766 to 2016.
A global pandemic has asked the Museum of Colour to adapt, reframe and reflect on the way it connects people and stories. Respect Due is MoC response to this time. A small selection of creatives, journalists and heritage organisations have nominated someone who has had a significant impact on their professional journeys, and who they wish to pay public respect. Artists Grace Lee, Naki Narh and Erin Tse have been commissioned to bring them to life.
Each participant was also interviewed and an artefact that they chose to donate to the Museum is now showcased in the online gallery. Looking ahead, the aim is to create a series of Respect Due exhibitions at regular intervals. The aesthetic aim is for something vibrant, striking and animated while simultaneously being thoughtful, nuanced and captivating.
The virus is claiming the lives of people over the age of 70 at an alarming rate, with a disproportionately high death rate of people of African, Caribbean and Asian backgrounds. As these groups are essential to the galleries at the MoC, this challenge – which has been ever-present since the inception of the gallery – has now been thrown into huge relief.
A generation of creatives is growing up with the belief that they are doing things for the very first time – because the achievements of the generations that came before them have not been methodically documented and made available. The goal of this project is to capture as many of these unique perspectives as possible – something that has never been more urgent.
The exhibition was launched at Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford in 2021.